A River Runs Through It1

Length: 4 Pages 918 Words

A River Runs Though It The movie, A River Runs Through It, directed by Robert Redford, and starring Craig Sheffer as Norman and Brad Pitt as Paul the younger brother, is about two brothers that have a close relationship. As their growing up they both rebel against their stern minister father, each in their own way. This movie takes place in the entrancing mountains of Montana, with a magnificent river that runs through it. The bond between the boys starts to fall apart as they face their future both taking two very different roads. The director effectively uses shots, action and mise en scene to show the directions both boys have chosen to take. In the middle of the clip where the boys are carrying the boat to the river, shots are used to show which direction the brothers have chose to take. The close up shot of Paul smiling shows a very eager person. Paul is in the front of the boat showing the viewer that he is leading the way. Norman on the other hand, is becoming aggravated by Paul’s anticipation for trying this brainless stunt. The close up of Norman portrays to the viewer that he is not sharing the same feeling as Paul and is wondering how he is going to get out of shooting the chutes. Later in the scene, Continue...


The director portrays a levelheaded Norman and a daredevil Paul, using these tools. The Mclain brothers are close, the viewer can tell because the brothers share the same friends and enjoy being together. Norman's actions seem to be enjoying the boat ride, when Paul and Norman are in the boat and the water is calm. The director dramatically shows the distance between the brothers. This shows Norman's reluctance to try Paul's foolish idea. After, the McLain brothers go over the chutes and are safely on shore, the director shoots a close up shot of Norman siting on a hill away from the water. The director did a wonderful job on using these tools to capture the viewers emotions. In the middle of the clip when the boys have arrived at the river and begin getting out of the car Paul is the first to get out of the car and grabbing the boat. This indicates to the viewer that Paul's views are distinctly different from the rest of the group. The viewer can tell that Norman and Paul are both starting to rebel against their father, because they are both out drinking, going against their parents rules. This symbolizes to the viewer that Paul has become one with the water. All the viewer can see behind this shot of Norman is the sky, symbolizing that Norman wants to go out in to the world and not to recklessly throw his life away. All the boys including Norman are sitting on the car. The mise en scene portrays Paul as being separated from the group.